Per Axel Ahlmark (15 January 1939 – 8 June 2018[1]) was a Swedish politician and writer. He was the leader of the Liberal People's Party from 1975 to 1978, and Minister for Employment and Deputy Prime Minister in the Swedish government from 1976 to 1978. He also served as a member of the Swedish parliament from 1967 to 1978.

Per Ahlmark
Per Ahlmark.jpg
Per Ahlmark
Minister for Employment
In office
8 October 1976 – 7 March 1978
Prime MinisterThorbjörn Fälldin
Preceded byIngemund Bengtsson
Succeeded byRolf Wirtén
Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden
In office
8 October 1976 – 7 March 1978
Prime MinisterThorbjörn Fälldin
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byOla Ullsten
Personal details
Per Axel Ahlmark

(1939-01-15)15 January 1939
Stockholm, Sweden
Died8 June 2018(2018-06-08) (aged 79)
Stockholm, Sweden
Political partyLiberal People's Party
Alma materStockholm University

Early life and educationEdit

Ahlmark was born in Stockholm, Sweden, as the son of the professor in medicine Axel Ahlmark and the dentist Gunvor Berglund.[2] He completed upper secondary education at Södra Latin in Stockholm[3] and earned a BA in political science from Stockholm University in 1964.[2]

Political careerEdit

Ahlmark joined the Liberal Youth of Sweden in 1960 and was elected chairman of the organization the same year. He served as chairman of the Liberal Youth until 1962 and as a member of the board of the Liberal People's Party from 1960 to 1978. He was elected a member of the upper house of the Swedish parliament from 1967 to 1969 (representing the constituency of Örebro County) and as a member of the lower house from 1969 to 1970 (representing the constituency of Stockholm Municipality). Following the unicameral reform in Sweden in 1970/1971, Ahlmark served as a member of the unicameral parliament until 1978. He also served as a member of the Council of Europe from 1971 to 1976, and as deputy chairman of the Martin Luther King Fund from 1968 to 1973.[4]

On 7 November 1975, Ahlmark succeeded Gunnar Helén as leader of the Liberal People's Party. from 1975 to 1978. From 1976 to 1978, in the first non-socialist government in Sweden in forty years, Ahlmark served as Minister for Employment and Deputy Prime Minister. On 7 March 1978, Ahlmark retired from party politics due to personal reasons.[5] From 1978 to 1981 he served as chairman of the board of the Swedish Film Institute.[4]

Writings and political viewsEdit

Ahlmark published several political books and many hundreds of articles about politics, literature and international conflicts. During the 1980s he published three books of poetry, one novel and two books of essays. He was a columnist for Expressen, then the largest daily newspaper in Scandinavia, from 1961 to 1995.[4] From 1997 to 2018 he was a columnist for Dagens Nyheter, the largest Swedish morning paper, and a contributor to Göteborgs-Posten. In his writings he accuses the political left in Sweden of being uncritical towards the totalitarian communist regimes especially after 1968.[6]

He was a strong supporter of the state of Israel.[5] From 1970 to 1997 he served as deputy chairman of the Sweden–Israel Friendship Association.[4] He co-founded the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism in 1983 and served as its deputy chairman until 1995.[4] In 1997 he founded the Sweden–Taiwan Friendship Association.[7]

Ahlmark served as an advisor to the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity since 1987, and was a member of board of the Geneva-based NGO UN Watch since 1993.[4]

In 1994, Ahlmark published the widely debated book Vänstern och tyranniet ("Tyranny and the Left"), which is the major work on Swedish fellow travellers and political pilgrims during the last thirty years.[citation needed] His next work, Det öppna såret ("The Open Sore"), makes a summary of new research regarding democracy and dictatorship respectively in terms of war, genocide/mass murder, and famine. In 1997 this book triggered one of the most heated discussions in recent decades[citation needed] in Sweden about freedom and its enemies. His latest book in the same field was Det är demokratin, dumbom! ("It's the Democracy, Stupid!"), published in 2004.

Ahlmark supported the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, and was extremely critical of Hans Blix (who is also a prominent member of the Swedish Liberal People's Party and served as Ahlmark's deputy chairman in the Liberal Youth of Sweden).[8] In an article in The Washington Times, Ahlmark described Blix as politically "weak and easily fooled" and a "wimp".[8]

In February 2006, Ahlmark wrote in the Wall Street Journal that he had officially nominated former U.S. undersecretary of state John Bolton and American investigative reporter Kenneth R. Timmerman for the Nobel Peace Prize. Calling them "the good guys" for having exposed Iran's nuclear weapons program and worked to curtail it, he again criticized his former deputy Hans Blix and the IAEA for having been "duped for 18 years" by Iran.[9]

The Per Ahlmark FoundationEdit

On account of Ahlmark's 70th birthday in 2009, a new foundation called The Per Ahlmark Foundation was established in October 2008 by the Jewish assembly in Stockholm.[10] The stated purpose of the foundation is to "promote scientific research and education in political science, the history of ideas and Jewish history, as well as in economics, all with particular focus on issues concerning democracy and human rights".[10] The foundation is chaired by the Swedish businessman Robert Weil and honorary chairman is the rabbi Michael Melchior.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Ahlmark was first married to the journalist Lillemor Melsted in 1965.[2] From 1978 to 1981 he was married to the actress Bibi Andersson.[12]

Ahlmark died on 8 June 2018 at the age of 79.[13]

Honors and awardsEdit


  • Ahlmark, Per (1964). Vår fattiga politik. Stockholm: Bonnier.
  • Ahlmark, Per (1965). Den svenska atomvapendebatten. Stockholm: Aldus/Bonnier.
  • Ahlmark, Per; Hammarberg, Thomas; Klein, Ernst (1970). Det hatade Israel. Stockholm: PAN/Norstedt.
  • Ahlmark, Per (1971). Sveket mot kusterna : om supertankers, oljeskydd, Östersjön, Brofjorden och riksplanering. Stockholm: Aldus/Bonnier.
  • Ahlmark, Per (1972). Överleva : dikter. Stockholm: Bonnier. ISBN 91-0-045472-9.
  • Ahlmark, Per (1983). Visum : dikter. Stockholm: Bonnier. ISBN 91-0-045896-1.
  • Ahlmark, Per; Gustafsson, Lars (1985). Frihet och fruktan : 22 brev. Stockholm: Bonnier. ISBN 91-0-046413-9.
  • Ahlmark, Per (1985). Flykter : dikter. Stockholm: Bonnier. ISBN 91-0-046717-0.
  • Ahlmark, Per (1989). Zonen : roman. Stockholm: Bonnier. ISBN 91-0-047734-6.
  • Ahlmark, Per (1991). Vänsterns moraliska skuld. Stockholm: Timbro. ISBN 91-7566-232-9.
  • Ahlmark, Per; Klein, Georg (1991). Motståndet : arton brev om död och liv. Stockholm: Timbro. ISBN 91-0-055206-2.
  • Ahlmark, Per; Tingsten, Herbert (1992). Tyranniet begär förtroende. Stockholm: Ratio. ISBN 91-7568-029-7.
  • Ahlmark, Per (1993). Det eviga hatet : om nynazism, antisemitism och Radio Islam. Stockholm: Bonnier. ISBN 91-0-055626-2.
  • Ahlmark, Per (1994). Vänstern och tyranniet : det galna kvartsseklet. Stockholm: Timbro. ISBN 91-7566-274-4.
  • Ahlmark, Per (1996). Malmberg, Fredrik (ed.). Den nya ofriheten : ska diktaturerna pina oss också under nästa sekel?. Stockholm: Ekerlid. ISBN 91-88594-56-4.
  • Ahlmark, Per (1997). Det öppna såret : om massmord och medlöperi. Stockholm: Timbro. ISBN 91-7566-326-0.
  • Ahlmark, Per (2004). Det är demokratin, dumbom!. Stockholm: Timbro. ISBN 91-7566-548-4.
  • Ahlmark, Per (2011). Gör inga dumheter medan jag är död! : memoarer. Stockholm: Atlantis. ISBN 978-91-7353-470-3.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Lagerström, Sten, ed. (1968). "Ahlmark, Per". Vem är det : svensk biografisk handbok. 1969 (in Swedish). Stockholm: Norstedt. ISBN 91-7133-747-4.
  3. ^ Hylén, Mats (15 January 2004). "Per Ahlmark 65 år". Helsingborgs Dagblad (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Sleeman, Elizabeth, ed. (2003). "Ahlmark, Per". The International Who's Who 2004. London: Routledge. pp. 17. ISBN 1-85743-217-7.
  5. ^ a b "Ahlmark, Per". Nationalencyklopedin Multimedia 2000 (in Swedish). Höganäs: Bra Böcker. 2000. ISBN 91-7133-747-4.
  6. ^ Henningsen, Bernd (1998:1) (in German): "Die europäische Wunde blutet auch im Norden. Zur Diskussion über intellektuelle Mitläufer und politische Kollaboration: Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Castro und die Skandinavier". NORDEUROPAforum, p. 113-118,
  7. ^ "Om Per Ahlmark" (in Swedish). Timbro. Archived from the original on 22 July 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
  8. ^ a b Ahlmark, Per (1 November 2002). "Sending in a dupe to disarm Saddam". Washington Times. Archived from the original on 4 April 2003. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
  9. ^ Per Ahlmark, "Let the Nobel Go Nuclear," Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2006. Accessed 19 August 2021
  10. ^ a b Manfredh, Thomas (20 October 2008). "Per Ahlmark ger namn åt stiftelse för MR-frågor". Dagen (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  11. ^ "Stifelse till Per Ahlmarks ära" (PDF) (in Swedish). Judiska församlingen i Stockholm. October 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  12. ^ "Andersson, Bibi". Nationalencyklopedin Multimedia 2000 (in Swedish). Höganäs: Bra Böcker. 2000. ISBN 91-7133-747-4.
  13. ^ "Per Ahlmark". Expressen. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  14. ^ "3 Named Co-Winners of Jabotinsky Awards", The New York Times, 12 October 1986, retrieved 8 April 2014
  15. ^ "Three International Figures Receive Defender of Jerusalem Award", Jewish Telegraph Agency, 8 October 1986, retrieved 8 April 2014
  16. ^ "Per Ahlmark", Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish), 6 August 1992
  17. ^ "Personnytt", TT (published in Dagens Nyheter), 21 November 1996
  18. ^ "Namn och Nytt", Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish), 30 December 1998
  19. ^ "Personnytt: Pris", Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish), 20 November 1999
  20. ^ "PERSONNYTT: Utnämning", Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish), 30 March 2000
  21. ^ "Personnytt: Utmärkelse", Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish), 4 May 2000
  22. ^ "Hedrad Ahlmark", Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish), 12 February 2002
  23. ^ "Ungliberaler prisbelönar Ahlmark", Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish), 4 January 2004, retrieved 13 April 2014
  24. ^ Presentation of the Jan Karski Award to Per Ahlmark, Sweden, American Jewish Committee, 5 May 2004, archived from the original on 26 April 2014, retrieved 7 April 2014
Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Liberal Youth of Sweden
Succeeded by
Preceded by Leader of the Liberal People's Party
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Minister for Employment
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Prime Minister
Succeeded by